In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Movie Linkage | Main | Genre Linkage »

August 19, 2008

Homage to a Catalan

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

If I were ordered to produce a league table for nations with respect to Western painting as reported in standard art history narratives, the Big Three would be Italy, Holland/Flanders and France.

At or near the top of the following rank would be Spain, largely thanks to Velásquez, El Greco and Goya in pre-Modern days. In more recent times, regardless of what one thinks of their work or personalities, it's impossible to deny that two of the most famous 20th century painters were Spanish: Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí.

Dalí was Catalan, Picasso spent his mid-teen years in Barcelona, Joan Miró was from Barcelona, and Hermen Anglada (who I wrote about here) also was from Barcelona.

Catalonia, in Spain's northeast, has been uncomfortably Spanish. Catalans have their own dialect, which causes friction with the rest of the country. The region's proximity to France helps make it more "European" than distant parts of the country. These matters and others are treated in the book Barcelona 1900 which deals with the tug of mainstream European avant-garde art and architecture on Barcelona's artistic community.

An artist featured in that book is Ramon Casas i Carbó. I wasn't aware of him, but liked his work and thought I'd show you some examples. For biographical information, click on the link above.


Après le Bal - 1895

Before Bathing - c.1895

Madeleine - n.d.
From the name, it was probably done in Paris.

Mujer Conduciendo - early 1900s
This "woman driver" looks like it might be intended for a poster.

Julia Peraire portrait - c.1907
Julia was his model, later mistress, and eventual wife.

Julia sketch - early 1900s
In 1906 he met Julia Peraire who was born around 1888. I wonder a little if this is the same Julia because the woman looks older than 18 and the style of clothing she is wearing was on the way out in 1906.

Portrait sketch of Pablo Picasso
I'm tossing this in just to show that Casas could depict males. Actually, he did a lot of drawings and paintings of men, but I like looking at his women better.

Sketch of woman
Lautrec-like, but not so caricatured.

Sifilis poster
Casas did a good deal of poster art.



posted by Donald at August 19, 2008


Great stuff! Ramon is certainly a discovery and I'll investigate further. Once again thanks to the 2Blowhards for brightening up my day.
B Wood

Posted by: B Wood on August 20, 2008 2:28 AM

Yep, much appreciated.

Posted by: dearieme on August 20, 2008 9:47 AM

Really like the first few here.

Posted by: JV on August 20, 2008 10:54 AM

Funny the things you remember. I've always had a fondness for "Madeleine" was on the cover of my copy of Galdos' "Fortunata and Jacinta". Loved both the book and the painting.

Posted by: chrees on August 20, 2008 2:14 PM


Thanks for posting this. Good stuff from one of my favorite periods in art. The last days of what I think of as "romantic classicism," just before the infection of whatever virus caused Finnegans Wake, Dada, the Great War and other disasters.

The last poster is beautiful but — excuse me? — advertising syphilis?

Posted by: Rick Darby on August 20, 2008 3:43 PM

Yeah, puzzled me too - was it some sort of "popular awarness" campaign? Rick: not all posters are for advertising.
But what a strictly three-hue secondary color scheme...although the purple is more to the lavender side, and the orange look more like yellowish saffron.
The rest of his portraiture leaves me cold.

Posted by: Tatyana on August 20, 2008 4:41 PM

Beautiful stuff, thanks. That was a great period, wasn't it? Modernizing but not modernist.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on August 20, 2008 4:42 PM

Nice find Donald! I never heard of the guy before.

Posted by: BTM on August 20, 2008 6:41 PM

Oh I must disagree on the colors in the last picture. I would call the yellow-orange hue amber, and the purple is really more heliotrope than lavender.

We must have precision, must we not?

Posted by: Sister Wolf on August 20, 2008 8:50 PM

Thanks, I've never seen this artist; I really like him.

Posted by: anne thompson on August 21, 2008 10:26 AM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?